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Boston Marathon bombing: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty of the Boston Marathon bombing and a US district court jury is to consider a possible death sentence.

A federal jury found Tsarnaev guilty on Wednesday over the terror attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260. He kept his hands folded in front of him and looked down at the defence table in the Boston courtroom as the guilty verdicts were read.

The jury will now decide whether the 21-year-old former student should be sentenced to death or receive life in prison.

Tsarnaev's conviction was widely expected, given his lawyer's startling admission during opening statements that he took part in the bombing. But the lawyer also argued that Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, masterminded the attack and enlisted his then-19-year-old brother to help.

Prosecutors portrayed the brothers as full partners in a plan to retaliate against the US for its wars in Muslim countries.

Deliberations in the guilt phase began almost two years after twin bombs exploded near the marathon's finish line on April 15, 2013, killing three people and wounding more than 260.

During closing arguments yesterday, Tsarnaev's lawyers agreed with prosecutors that Tsarnaev conspired with his brother to bomb the marathon and planted one of two pressure-cooker bombs that exploded that day.

But the defence said it was his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan, who was the mastermind of the attack. It was Tamerlan who bought the bomb parts, built the bombs and planned the attack, said defence lawyer Judy Clarke.

"If not for Tamerlan, it would not have happened," Ms Clarke said.

A prosecutor told the jury that Tsarnaev made a coldblooded decision aimed at punishing America for its wars in Muslim countries.

"This was a cold, calculated terrorist act. This was intentional. It was bloodthirsty. It was to make a point," Aloke Chakravarty said. "It was to tell America that 'We will not be terrorised by you anymore. We will terrorise you.'"

Ms Clarke argued that Tsarnaev fell under the influence of Tamerlan. She repeatedly referred to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, then 19, as a "kid" and a "teenager".

Tsarnaev is an ethnic Chechen who moved to the US with his family about a decade before the bombings.

Prosecutors used their closing to remind the jury of the horror of that day, showing photographs and video of the carnage and chaos after the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs exploded.

In one video, jurors could hear the agonising screams of Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager who bled to death on the pavement. Another woman and an eight-year-old boy also were killed.

Taking aim at the argument that Tsarnaev was led astray by his older brother, Mr Chakravarty repeatedly referred to the Tsarnaevs as "a team" and "partners" in the attack.

"That day, they felt they were soldiers. They were the mujahedeen, and they were bringing their battle to Boston," the prosecutor said.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died four days after the bombings after he was shot by police and run over by Dzhokhar during a getaway attempt. Dzhokhar was captured hours later hiding in a dry-docked boat.

Further reading

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Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 (AP)
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 (AP)
Emma MacDonald, 21, center, cries during a vigil for the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions at Boston Common, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Twin explosions near the marathon's finish line Monday killed three people, wounded more than 170 and reawakened fears of terrorism. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
President Barack Obama pauses as he begins to speak in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Lizzie Lee, 56, of Lynwood, Wash., who was participating in her first Boston Marathon and 11th overall, holds a candle and a flower at Boston Common during a vigil for the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, one day after bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
BOSTON - APRIL 17: Signs, flowers and candles make up a makeshift memorial at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing April 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston continues to get back to normal, as businesses and streets are reopened following a two bomb explosion at the finish line of the marathon that killed 3 people and injured hundreds more. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: People gather with candles during a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Young children stand with lit candles during a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A man with an American flag on his hat attends a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A woman cries while listening during the vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A young girl cries with her mother during the vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Mourners attend candlelight vigil for Martin Richard at Garvey Park, near Richard's home in the Dorchester section of Boston, on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Martin is the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. (AP Photo/The New York Times, Josh Haner) MANDATORY CREDIT; NYC OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; TV OUT, NO ARCHIVE
Signs, flowers and candles make up a makeshift memorial at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing
The explosions killed three people and injured more than 140 (AP/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
One of the blast sites is examined on Boylston Street near the finish line (AP)
The remains of a pressure cooker that the FBI says was part of one of the bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon. (AP/FBI)
Lu Lingzi who was one of the three people killed in the Boston Marathon bombing
Police clear the area at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon (AP)
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon (AP)
One of the blast sites is examined on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. (AP)
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon (AP)

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